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DIY Natural Skincare Ideas

Using natural skincare products made in your own kitchen beats getting to grips with the confusing chemicals in shop bought cosmetics.

Reading the back of a pot of moisturiser can leave you wondering whether your skin really requires so many chemicals in order for it to look and feel its best. Skincare ranges are only getting more and more complex as time goes on. Not only does this cast doubt on whether these chemical concoctions are worth buying but whether these are safe to use on a daily basis.

Ingredients to watch out for

Discussions are still on-going regarding certain ingredients and their impact on health over long periods of time. If you do still want to keep on buying skincare products, there are a few ingredients to be aware of and possibly avoid.

Sulphates and Parabens

Chemical compounds commonly found in cosmetics such as sulphates and parabens have been linked to skin irritation and even the growth of cancer cells.

Phthalates

Along with sulphates and parabens, phthalates are endocrine disruptors that are found in nail polish and moisturisers among other products. Endocrine disruptors are chemicals that may interfere with hormones in the body, causing various health issues.

Formaldehyde

Formaldehyde and formaldehyde-releasing preservatives (FRPs) are used throughout the skincare industry. Increased leukaemia risk and cancer development are toxic side effects of this known carcinogen.

DIY Natural Skincare

Alternatively, you may want to limit the skincare products you buy or use and swap them out for natural substitutes. We have gathered together a few recipes for natural skincare you can use every day.

1. Green Tea Toner

Green tea is known to be rich in antioxidants, which can help protect skin from damage. As it’s a natural anti-inflammatory, it may also help to reduce redness, giving you an even skin tone. Allow the tea to cool completely before applying to your face.

1/3 cup green tea (made with pure, filtered water)

3–4 drops tea tree essential oil

Stir ingredients together and pour into a small glass (preferably) spray bottle. Shake before use and gently mist the toner over your face.

2. Anti-ageing Papaya Face Mask

A popular skincare ingredient, alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs) in papaya act as a natural exfoliator. The added egg whites are high in protein which help repair skin and tighten pores.

½ of a fresh papaya (seeds removed)

1 tablespoon plain Greek yogurt

1 tablespoon white tea (brewed with pure filtered water and cooled)

Juice from 1/2 lemon

An organic egg white

Combine all the ingredients in a food processor (or use a fork) and blend to a paste. Smooth the mixture over your face and neck and leave for 20-30 minutes before rinsing with clean, filtered water.

3. Relaxing Baking Soda Foot Soak

Treating your feet to this soak recipe is particularly useful if you suffer from calluses and a build-up of dry skin. It is a quick and simple idea and perfect after a busy day on your feet. Mix the soda and the water together in a big enough plastic bowl or tub to put your feet into. Add some dried lavender flowers for their calming scent. Sit back and relax for half an hour.

½ cup bicarbonate of soda

4 litres of warm filtered water

Dried lavender flowers or 10 drops of essential oil

4. Moisturising Foot Cream

After soaking your feet it’s a good idea to moisturise and slip on some cotton socks to really feel the benefit. A simple moisturising cream made from three ingredients is all you need.

¾ cup coconut oil

½ cup shea butter

10 drops lavender essential oil (or whichever essential oil your prefer)

Gently melt together coconut oil and shea butter in the microwave or on the hob. Remove from heat and add in the essential oil. Pour into a glass jar with a lid and leave to completely cool before using.

5. Aloe Face Cream

DIY natural face creams can be a bit trickier to recreate. Perhaps when you’ve mastered these recipes you may want to try a whipped face cream. We’ve found a simpler version that you can adapt to suit your skin needs.

2 tablespoons aloe vera gel (taken straight from the plant)

5-6 drops of walnut oil or almond oil

5 drops essential oils (choose your favourite scent or a combination)

2-3 drops vitamin E oil

Whisk together the ingredients until they start to become thicker and stop when it reaches a creamy texture. Transfer the mixture into a small glass tub, ready for you to use.

As a side note, with all these recipes, do a patch test beforehand to ensure that you do not have an allergic reaction. Store in a cool place or refrigerate for a week to a month and do not use if it starts to go off.

We recommend using filtered water when the recipe asks for water to be added, as this is pure and free from contaminants. There is no point using all natural, organic ingredients just to add tap water to the mix. Don’t forget, there are plenty of chemicals and other contaminants lurking in your tap water. Hard water can also be damage, irritate and dry out skin and hair.

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